Get your kicks on Route 66: Annual Route 66 Festival returns to - KXXV Central Texas News Now

Get your kicks on Route 66: Annual Route 66 Festival returns to Shamrock for first time in nearly 100 years

The U-Drop Inn in downtown Shamrock (Source: KFDA) The U-Drop Inn in downtown Shamrock (Source: KFDA)

The heart of Route 66 runs right through Shamrock and this weekend, they're celebrating with the annual Texas Welcomes the World Route 66 Festival.

"It started when I was about 12. I knew we had to take Route 66," said Route 66 fan Ron Jones.

Get the latest Amarillo news straight to your phone! Apple | Android

Family road trips started a love for the historic road that has lasted nearly 60 years.

"The best part of 66, for me anyway, is meeting the people," said Jones. "The places you go see are nice, but if wasn't for the people, those places wouldn't be there."

Jones has taken that love for the road and documented his journeys on his body with over 160 tattoos dedicated to Route 66, each one telling a different, vibrant story.

"I have Tow Mater from the movie Cars tattooed on my back. I have Roy's Cafe in Amboy, California tattooed on my back. Oh my goodness," said Jones. "I have a lot of eating places, but for some reason, I tattoo those on my stomach. Kinda odd, huh?"

But this weekend, that love for Route 66 brought him to Shamrock where the annual Route 66 Festival has returned to the city for the first time since 1932.

"We see a lot of people from all over the country, a lot of Route 66 fanatics love Route 66 and are absolutely enthralled by it, so we see a lot of people from all over the world," said Shamrock Mayor Aaron Shannon.

For Shamrock resident "Hugging Hazel", she is overjoyed at the festival's return to the city.

"It's exciting and the fact they had it in Germany last year and I thought, 'we're going to have it in this little bitty town of Shamrock?' It just sounds so fascinating," said Hazel Janssen.

With a full weekend of events like a car show, air show, helicopter rides, the rodeo and concerts, there's plenty to do at the festival. 

As for Jones, he will keep traveling on Route 66 in his custom ride, enjoying the open road ahead.

"I retired about nine years ago so this is all I do, cruise, cruise and snooze," Jones said, with a laugh.

The festivities will continue all weekend long, wrapping up on Sunday with an attempt to make a world record for the largest human outline of a three-leaf clover, set to be held at the Shamrock ISD football field.

Copyright 2018 KFDA. All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly